Seizures are symptoms of a brain problem. They happen because of sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. When people think of seizures, they often think of convulsions in which a person's body shakes rapidly and uncontrollably. Not all seizures cause convulsions. There are many types of seizures and some have mild symptoms. Seizures fall into two main groups. Focal seizures, also called partial seizures, happen in just one part of the brain. Generalized seizures are a result of abnormal activity on both sides of the brain.

Most seizures last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and do not cause lasting harm. However, it is a medical emergency if seizures last longer than 5 minutes or if a person has many seizures and does not wake up between them. Seizures can have many causes, including medicines, high fevers, head injuries and certain diseases. People who have recurring seizures due to a brain disorder have epilepsy.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Symptoms of Seizures

The following features are indicative of Seizures:
  • temporary confusion
  • staring spell
  • loss of consciousness or awareness
  • psychic symptoms
  • uncontrollable muscle spasms
  • jerking limbs
  • temporary stop in breathing
  • teeth clenching
  • bitter or metallic taste
  • sudden falling
  • shaking of the entire body
  • mood changes
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • eye movements
  • drooling or frothing at the mouth
It is possible that Seizures shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Seizures

The following are the most common causes of Seizures:
  • abnormal blood sugar and glucose levels
  • meningitis
  • brain injury to baby during labor or childbirth
  • congenital brain defects
  • brain tumor
  • drug abuse

Other Causes of Seizures

The following are the less common causes of Seizures:
  • genetic influence
  • brain conditions such as brain tumors or strokes
  • infectious diseases such as meningitis
  • prenatal injury
  • autism
  • neurofibromatosis
  • electric shock
  • epilepsy
  • fever
  • head injury
  • heart disease
  • toxemia of pregnancy
  • malignant hypertension
  • venomous bites and stings
  • alcohol withdrawal

Risk Factors for Seizures

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Seizures:
  • early childhood or after age 60
  • family history
  • head injuries
  • stroke and other vascular diseases
  • dementia
  • brain infections

Prevention of Seizures

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Seizures. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • prevent yourself from traumatic brain injuries
  • washing hands and preparing food safely
  • staying healthy during pregnancy

Occurrence of Seizures

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Seizures cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Seizures can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Seizures can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Seizures

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Seizures:
  • Electroencephalogram: To record the electrical activity of the brain
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To obtain the cross-sectional images and reveal abnormalities in the brain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To create a detailed view of brain
  • Positron emission tomography (PET): To detect brain abnormalities
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT): To pinpoint the location in brain where the seizures are originating
  • Neuropsychological tests: To assess thinking, memory and speech skills
  • Blood tests: To check for signs of infections, genetic conditions or other conditions that may be associated with seizures

Doctor for Diagnosis of Seizures

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Seizures:
  • Neurologist

Complications of Seizures if untreated

Yes, Seizures causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Seizures is left untreated:
  • heart failure
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • aneurysm
  • peripheral artery disease
  • injury due to falling
  • drowning while swimming
  • car accident
  • pregnancy complications
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • status epilepticus
  • sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

Procedures for Treatment of Seizures

The following procedures are used to treat Seizures:
  • Epilepsy surgery: To remove the area of brain that's causing the seizures
  • Vagus nerve stimulation: To reduce the disease related symptoms

Self-care for Seizures

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Seizures:
  • Get enough sleep: Helps controlling the condition
  • Regular exercise: Helps to keep the patient physically healthy and reduce depression

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Seizures

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Seizures:
  • Intake ketogenic diet: To control seizures

Patient Support for Treatment of Seizures

The following actions may help Seizures patients:
  • Education: Helps understanding the condition
  • Join epilepsy support group: Meeting people who understand what patient is going through helps to cope with condition

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 7/28/2019.
This page provides information for Seizures.

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